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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Finance > Debt capital markets > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Other

Index of tables

  1. Debt capital markets
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Allen & Overy LLP is 'the best of the best', according to one client, who also praises the quality of its associate team. The firm is consistently a leader in international debt issuance by volume and has one of the most active practices for the establishment of MTN programmes and subsequent issuance. It advises issuers and managers on some of the largest and most complex deals in the market, and is also seen as one of the most skilled practices for regulatory capital matters. Jonathan Melton is the practice head; he handles EMTN programmes, straight debt and equity-linked issues, statutory covered bonds, loan participation notes, emerging markets issuance and liability management. The stellar partner group also includes Matthew Hartley, who frequently acts for sovereigns, supranationals, corporates, banks and mutuals; Theo Trayhurn, who handles regulatory capital issuance by financial institutions and high-profile blue chip corporate bond issues; the 'very good, very technical' Tom Grant; the 'hardworking and collaborative' Jamie Durham; US-qualified Sachin Davé, who deals with issuance for foreign governments, issuers and investment banks; and newly promoted partner Peter Crossan.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Melton

Other key lawyers:Matthew Hartley; Theo Trayhurn; Tom Grant; Jamie Durham; Sachin Davé; Peter Crossan

Key Clients

Vodafone

Goldman Sachs

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Nordea

Credit Suisse

Lloyds Banking Group

UBS

The debt capital markets practice at Clifford Chance LLP is among a select group of firms with a long history at the forefront of capital markets developments across Europe. It has 'a strong team with technical expertise and capable lawyers, and good coverage of both industry sectors and geographies'. Its diverse client base encompasses major banks, corporates, governments and supranational organisations, as well as multilateral lenders and international financial institutions. Simon Sinclair leads the practice, which counts seasoned partners and up-and-coming talent in all areas of the market. John Connolly leads on US securities law advice including Rule 144A offerings, private placements and Regulation S issuance. Clare Burgess is experienced in capital markets financings, private placements and loans, with a particular focus on the infrastructure sector. 'Truly exceptional lawyer and trusted adviser' David Bickerton handles infrastructure financings across the EMEA region for funders, issuers, guarantors, sponsors and governments. David Dunnigan advises sovereigns, supranationals, major corporations and financial institutions on all aspects of debt. Newly promoted partner Kate Vyvyan handles debt issuance, debt capital markets, regulatory capital and liability management transactions for both issuers and underwriters.

Practice head(s):Simon Sinclair

Other key lawyers:David Bickerton; Clare Burgess; Per Chilstrom; John Connolly; Paul Deakins; David Dunnigan; Kate Vyvyan

Testimonials

'The team is truly outstanding; we rely on it 100% and it always comes through for us'.

'This team really understands what we are trying to achieve and is truly adept at steering a course past counterparties who are adversarial, avoiding unnecessary spats'.

'David Bickerton is highly experienced, combining strong technical skills with commercial understanding and a pragmatic approach. He really understands what we do and is proactive in identifying issues for us'.

'The firm excels in debt capital markets, with excellent engagement and responses from partners and good knowledge at the associate level'.

'David Dunnigan is always very responsive - a market leader'.

'Kate Vyvyan is well deserving of her recent partnership; she is a trusted and very safe pair of hands'.

'Eric Green is superb; it cannot be long before he earns the partnership he so deserves'.

Key Clients

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Global Infrastructure Partners

Maxima Grupe

Santander Poland

Morgan Stanley & Co. International Plc

BNP Paribas

Goldman Sachs

Deutsche Bank

Heimstaden Bostad AB (publ)

AB Sagax (publ)

Citigroup Global Markets Limited

Provident Financial Plc

Informa

Work highlights

  • Advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch and the other managers on the issuance of a $500m non-dilutive cash settled convertible bond by Glencore.
  • Advised Global Infrastructure Partners, the New York-headquartered independent infrastructure fund manager, on its acquisition from Orsted of a 50% interest in the Hornsea offshore wind project for approximately £4.4bn.
  • Handled the debut issuance by Maxima Grupe of €300m 3.250% notes due 2023 under its €1bn EMTN programme.
  • Acted for the arranger in establishing the EMTN programme for Santander Poland.
  • Acted as counsel to the dealers in connection with the issuance by Logicor, the largest direct owner of logistics property in Europe, of three tranches of senior unsecured guaranteed notes in aggregate value of €1.8bn.

Linklaters LLP's debt capital markets practice has a 40-year history in London, during which time it has become one of the leading firms for all kinds of debt product, including complex and innovative bond structures. It has one of the largest practices in the City, led by Elaine Keats, who handles standalone debt offerings, retail bonds and EMTN programmes. The firm is a recognised leader in liability management, equity-linked bonds and regulatory capital transactions. It is also a key player in emerging market debt, green bonds and the nascent area of sustainability and social bonds. Its team comprises seven UK DCM partners, two US-qualified partners and two counsels in London. Richard Levy is 'the best in town - very technical and commercial, he delivers on client needs'. Ben Dulieu is a standout practitioner for equity-linked transactions. Cecil Quillen and Carson Welsh excel in US securities and regulatory capital trades, respectively. The 'highly skilled and responsive' Richard O’Callaghan has significant MENA and emerging markets expertise. 'The team is the most knowledgeable and skilled in this area, bar none', remarks one client.

Practice head(s):Elaine Keats

Other key lawyers:Richard Levy; Ben Dulieu; Carson Welsh; Cecil Quillen; Richard O’Callaghan; Neil Dixon; Manoj Tulsiani; Arjun Muddu

Testimonials

'Linklaters provides a complete solution; it is very professional and instructive, extremely thorough in its knowledge and precise on any recommendations'.

'It is a first choice for debt offerings in the UK'.

'Richard Levy can be turned to for unusual transactions, and the availability of higher quality associates is better than the firm's peers'.

'Richard O'Callaghan is extremely knowledgeable and professional, and his advice exemplary'.

'Associate Sirae Chen sets a very high standard with her knowledge'.

'With Linklaters, you receive very fast responses from a very knowledgeable team'.

'Ben Dulieu is a lawyer everyone seeks out for equity-linked transactions'.

'Linklaters has strength across different areas including DCM, ECM, liability management and structured finance. It has a market-leading liability management practice in EMEA, which is a key strength'.

'Arjun Muddu is commercially pragmatic, diligent and innovative. He is willing to go the extra mile and, due to those attributes, is the first lawyer called when appointing counsel'.

Key Clients

Deutsche Bank

Citi

UBS

RBS

BNP Paribas

Credit Suisse

Barclays

Lloyds

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Morgan Stanley

Work highlights

  • Advised the joint lead managers on the issue by the University of Cambridge of a £600m dual issue consisting of £300m 2.350% bonds due 2078 and £300m index-linked bonds due 2068 referencing the consumer price measure of inflation, the CPI-linked issue being among the first of its kind in the UK bond market.
  • Advised Steinhoff on its issue of €2.6bn convertible bonds as part of its wider corporate restructuring.
  • Advised the London branch of ICBC on its recent $1.5bn issuance of green bonds, the largest green bond listing ever on the London Stock Exchange.
  • Advised Omantel, the leading telecommunications company in Oman, on the issue of an aggregate of $1.5bn secured dual-tranche 144A/Regulation S notes due 2023 and 2028.
  • Acted for Novo Banco (the Bank) with respect to its offer to holders of outstanding senior securities to tender such securities or to exchange such securities for new tier 2 notes to be issued by the Bank.

'Now widely recognised as top tier across the board', according to one client,¬†White & Case LLP¬†continued to expand the scope of its debt capital markets practice in 2018, having continued to be a key player in emerging markets debt while increasing its market share of investment grade issuance in Europe. The firm¬†covers the full spectrum of work including sovereign deals, liability management, bank regulatory capital and corporate hybrid capital solutions, equity-linked bond transactions and infrastructure, project and green bonds. It is regarded as one of the most prominent firms for¬†sovereign debt issuance and sovereign-related advisory work, and is also highly regarded for¬†liability management transactions and convertible bonds. Global head of DCM¬†Stuart Matty¬†and the¬†'terrific' Melissa Butler¬†are 'standout partners' in the practice, particularly for sovereign debt issuance. Sovereign debt issuance and distressed situations specialist Ian Clark¬†and¬†Richard Pogrel, whose¬†expertise includes cross-border debt restructurings and liability management,¬†are highly recommended, as are¬†counsels Catherine Andrews,¬†who has ‚Äėa very "can-do" attitude but is also very conservative‚Äô, and US securities expert Doron Loewinger.

Practice head(s):Stuart Matty

Other key lawyers:Melissa Butler; Catherine Andrews; Richard Pogrel; Ian Clark; Doron Loweinger; Nikita Thakrar

Testimonials

'The firm remains a leader in emerging market work, but the impressive advances have been in European investment grade work'.

'Being one of the leading firms in UK and European sustainable finance/green bond market initiatives, the firm is showing that it is a mature practice with depth of expertise'.

'The team is well educated and hardworking'.

'The firm has a deep knowledge of the various financial solutions and their implementation in emerging economies'.

'Melissa Butler is terrific'.

'Richard Pogrel is a 'go-to' advisor for complex securities or situations; he has made his name doing the really challenging deals in the market over the last two decades and he is technically one of the standout DCM lawyers in the business'.

'Ian Clark is an excellent expert in public market transactions and is always very focused on having the best results within limited time'.

'Associate Nikita Thakrar has been very helpful and has impressive knowledge'.

Catherine Andrews has a very "can-do" attitude but is also very conservative, which is needed in high-risk transactions in the emerging markets space’.

Key Clients

Citigroup

Danske Bank

Deutsche Bank

Goldman Sachs

Jefferies

JP Morgan Chase

Morgan Stanley

Svenska Handelsbanken

Trafigura Beheer B.V.

Nord Stream

Eskom Nigeria

Work highlights

  • Represented the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan on the establishment of Uzbekistan's GMTN programme and debut issuance of sovereign bonds thereunder in two tranches pursuant to Rule 144A and Regulation S.
  • Represented Svenska Handelsbanken on the issue of $500m additional tier 1 contingent convertible notes under its $50bn EMTN programme.
  • Represented Yapı Kredi Bank on its inaugural offering of $650m perpetual fixed rate resettable additional tier 1 notes due 2029.
  • Represented the Republic of Ghana in connection with the issuance of $1bn 7.625% amortising notes due 2029 and $1bn 8.627% amortising notes due 2049, issued pursuant to Regulation S and Rule 144A of the Securities Act, and the related tender offer for their outstanding $750m 9.250% amortising notes due 2022.
  • Represented the Republic of Kenya in connection with the Reg S/144A offering of $1bn 7.25% notes due 2028 and $1bn 8.250% notes due 2048.

Ashurst has a diverse practice that acts for issuers, underwriters, sponsors, lenders, trustees, agents and credit enhancement providers across all areas of debt capital markets. It is best known for advising underwriting banks on corporate investment grade, financial institution and emerging market debt transactions, as well as corporate issuers on Eurobonds. It also handles the treasury and funding activities of global financial institutions, and assists sponsors and underwriting banks with innovative infrastructure transactions. The team also has a strong track record in emerging market debt transactions for corporate and sovereign issuers, and handles new issuance and defaults for corporate trustee and agency institutions. The firm's leading lights include practice head Anna Delgado; emerging market financings specialist Francis Kucera, who handles deals in Eastern Europe and the CIS region; Derwin Jenkinson, who handles complex UK transactions and cross-border European and international financing transactions; corporate trust specialist Malcolm Charles; and up-and-coming partner Alexander Biles, whose broad practice encompasses project bonds, regulatory capital issuances for banks and insurers and liability management transactions.

Practice head(s):Anna Delgado

Other key lawyers:Francis Kucera; Derwin Jenkinson; Malcolm Charles; Alexander Biles

Key Clients

ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited

Aviva

Barclays

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

BP Capital Markets p.l.c.

Credit Suisse

Enquest

HSBC Bank plc

Jefferies

JP Morgan

Morgan Stanley

WM Morrison Supermarkets plc

National Express

Nomura

OneSavings Bank

Renewi

Royal Bank of Scotland

Shawbrook Bank Limited

Societe Generale

Tritax Big Box REIT plc

Work highlights

  • Advising Deutsche Bank, Erste Bank and Societe Generale on the issue by the State of Montenegro of €500m 3.375% notes due 2025.
  • Advising Banca IMI, BNP Paribas, JP Morgan and Raifeissen Bank International on the issue by Nitrogenmuvek Zrt of €200m 8.00% notes due 2020.
  • Advised Connect Plus (M25) Limited and the consortium of sponsors on the refinancing of the M25 DBFO contract through the issue of £892.6m 2.607% guaranteed secured bonds due 2039.
  • Advised the arranger of the update of the EMTN programme of Yorkshire Building Society which included, amongst other things, inclusion of a new type of security, senior non-preferred notes.
  • Acted for Australia and New Zealand Banking Group on the issuance of €750m 0.625% notes.

Baker McKenzie has an extensive global network and its presence in many of the world's emerging markets draws complex cross-border debt transactions to the practice in London. US securities specialist Adam Farlow leads a practice that not only continues to handle groundbreaking emerging markets deals for issuers, but also acts for a growing roster of underwriters in challenging deals. The firm's deep bench of talent includes Roy Pearce, who represents issuers and investment banks in capital markets transactions, primarily Eurobonds and debt restructurings; corporate trustee expert Simon Porter; New York-qualified partner Megan Schellinger, who advises corporate and investment banking clients on Rule 144A and SEC-registered offerings and private placements of international debt; and Michael Doran, formerly of White & Case LLP, who handles both investment grade deals and more complex, disclosure-heavy emerging markets transactions.

Practice head(s):Adam Farlow

Other key lawyers:Roy Pearce; Simon Porter; Megan Schellinger; Michael Doran

Testimonials

'Exemplary support, understanding of the Client's needs and availability and high endurance in the pressing deals'.

'Roy Pearce and Maxim Xrapov apart from providing exceptional added value to the deals, amaze with their availability and willingness to commit through difficult timescales'.

 

Key Clients

BGEO Group PLC (Georgia)

Turkven (Turkey)

Türk Telekomünikasyon A.Ş.

Akbank T.A.Ş.  (Turkey)

Bankia  (Spain)

CPI Property Group  (Czech Republic)

JSC Georgia Capital  (Georgia)

Cosmo Pharmaceuticals  (Switzerland)

Work highlights

  • Advising Akbank T.A.Ş. in relation to the issuance of Basel III-compliant fixed rate resettable tier 2 notes due 2027 under its $6bn GMTN programme.
  • Advised Türk Telekomünikasyon A.Ş. on its Rule 144A offering of $500m 6.875% notes due 2025.
  • Advising Bankia on the update of the EMTN programme and the issue of €500m 6.385% AT1 notes.
  • Advising CPI Property Group, a leading long-term investor in income-generating real estate predominantly in the Czech Republic and Berlin, on an update of its €3bn EMTN programme.
  • Advised Georgia Capital on its inaugural offering (pursuant to Rule 144A and Regulation S) of $300m 6.125% notes due 2024 lead managed by Citibank and JP Morgan.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP has a highly regarded global debt capital markets practice, in which the London office plays a pivotal role. The firm is the preferred counsel for many of the world's leading corporate issuers, among which is AstraZeneca, and it also advises a large roster of banks, including Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, as underwriters. The firm has one of the most active US-dollar investment grade bond practices in Europe and, in 2018, it advised on issuance with a value of $73bn. This included handling a $1.4bn notes offering for Roche Holdings. Reuven Young, who advises on public and private cross-border investment grade debt offerings, and Jeffrey O’Brien, who assists corporates, financial intermediaries and private equity sponsors on complex DCM, M&A and leveraged finance transactions, are the key partners. Up-and-coming partner Leo Borchardt is also recommended for a range of capital markets work, having handled SEC-registered notes offerings for AstraZeneca and other blue chip corporate issuers.

Practice head(s):Reuven Young; Jeffrey O’Brien

Other key lawyers:Leo Borchardt; Radoslaw Michalak; John Taylor

Key Clients

AstraZeneca

Ferguson

Ocado

eDreams ODIGEO

Goldman Sachs

JP Morgan

BBA Aviation

Royal Bank of Scotland

Citi

Bank of America

Merrill Lynch

Work highlights

  • Advised Syngenta Finance NV, as issuer, and Syngenta AG, as guarantor, on its $4.75bn aggregate Rule 144A/Regulation S notes offering.
  • Advised AstraZeneca in connection with its SEC-registered shelf takeover of $850m aggregate amount of notes.
  • Advised RBS in connection with its SEC-registered shelf takedown of senior notes.
  • Advised Ferguson plc in connection with its debut Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of $750m aggregate principal amount of 4.500% notes due 2028 by Ferguson Finance plc.
  • Advised the dealer managers in connection with a liability management exercise by Novo Banco with respect to 20 series of its outstanding senior debt securities.

The debt capital markets group at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP in London is 'very commercial, with excellent attention to detail'. It has a proven track record of work for both issuers and managers on a range of products, including standalone bonds, regulatory capital instruments, MTN programmes, commercial paper programmes, private placements, equity-linked transactions and liability management trades. The practice comprises experienced lawyers qualified in both English and US law and, in 2018, it handled innovative transactions in developed and emerging markets. The practice has worked on some of the most high-profile projects bonds in the market, including the £10bn Thames Tideway debt issuance programme. The firm is also strong in sovereign debt issuance and acted for managers in the Republic of Ghana's $1bn notes offering. Practice head Amy Geddes and key partner Andrew Roberts are recognised experts in the DCM market, and clients recommend US securities partners Gabrielle Wong, Tom O’Neill and Dinesh Banani.

Practice head(s):Amy Geddes

Other key lawyers:Andrew Roberts; Gabrielle Wong; Tom O'Neill; Dinesh Banani; Mark Dickinson; Theresa Matts

Testimonials

'Andrew Roberts and Amy Geddes are always available and technically excellent, and they also look to find commercial solutions'.

Key Clients

Barclays Bank PLC

Tideway

Severn Trent plc

G4S plc

Standard Chartered Bank

Morgan Stanley

HSBC

Caixabank

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

DNB Bank

Growthpoint

Bevco

Marble Point Loan Financing Limited

The Brunner Investment Trust plc

African Export Import Bank

African Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Tideway in relation to the update and maintenance of its £10bn debt issuance programme and various issuances of notes.
  • Acted for lead manager CaixaBank and bondholders, Sociedad Limitada and The Bank of New York Mellon in the issuance of €104.5m 3.228% guaranteed senior secured notes due 2037 and €35.5m 3.228% guaranteed senior secured notes due 2037.
  • Acted for G4S on its issue by G4S International Finance plc of €550m 1.875% guaranteed notes due 2025 under its £2.5bn guaranteed EMTN programme.
  • Advised the managers, including Citigroup and Standard Chartered Bank, on a dual-tranche Reg S/Rule 144A offering by the Republic of Ghana of $1bn 7.625% amortising notes due 2029 and $1bn 8.627% amortising notes due 2049.
  • Advised Barclays and Goldman Sachs in their capacities as dealers in respect of the update of the DNB Bank ASA $10bn US MTN programme.

Latham & Watkins has one of the largest and most experienced US capital markets teams in Europe, which gives it a prominent role in 144A offerings into the United States, which involve challenging disclosure and diligence issues. In EMEA, the firm advised on more than 120 debt issuances in 2018, with an aggregate deal value of $120bn, and London played a central role in many of those transactions.  The 'lean and professional team, which has more of a personal touch than is offered by many of its competitors', is regarded as a leading player in many areas of the DCM market. In emerging markets debt, the firm acts for issuers and investment banks on landmark and groundbreaking multi-jurisdictional debt offerings in the CEE and CEMEA regions. It frequently advises on sovereign and quasi-sovereign debt issuance, which included a recent $1.2bn notes offering by the Government of Ukraine. It also excels in liability management and English law private placement transactions. Lene Malthasen and David Stewart are the standout partners.

Practice head(s):Lene Malthasen; David Stewart

Other key lawyers:Harrison Armstrong

Testimonials

'The team has an excellent work ethic and shows commerciality in its legal advice'.

'The lawyers are personable, hardworking and reliable'.

'The firm has a hardworking and commercial team with best-in-class execution'.

'The lawyers are willing to go the extra mile to provide solutions and answers to problems. They are generally available at short notice and are always seeking to provide assistance to banks'.

'Associate Harrison Armstrong is always available to discuss both small and larger matters and will guide you safely through any major transaction'.

Key Clients

ING

Deutsche Bank

Goldman Sachs

HSBC

JP Morgan

UBS

Alfa Bank

Mobile TeleSystems PJSC / Dega Retail Holding Limited

Tinkoff

VEON

Work highlights

  • Represented the joint bookrunners on a new issue of $750m 8.994% notes due 2024 and $1.2bn 9.75% notes due 2028 by the Government of Ukraine.
  • Represented the initial purchasers in connection with the 16.5% loan participation notes due 2021 issued by Biz Finance plc to fund a loan to Ukreximbank.
  • Acted for ING Bank and J.P. Morgan as dealer managers in connection with the solicitation of consents to amend any and all of the outstanding $500m 3.875% notes due 2022; $1bn 4.40% notes due 2023; $1bn 4.75% notes due 2027; and $1.2bn 5.75% notes due 2047 issued by JSC National Company KazMunayGas.
  • Representation of the initial purchasers in connection with the issuance of 7.25% notes due 2023 by Rönesans Gayrimenkul Yatırım A.Ş.
  • Representation of TA Associates in connection with the private placement of senior secured floating rate notes due 2025 by List Company S.p.A.

The US and English law capability in¬†Mayer Brown International LLP's London office sees it acting in some of the¬†most demanding transatlantic debt capital markets transactions for issuers and underwriters, complementing the work of its pan-European and emerging market debt practices. James Taylor¬†specialises¬†in European debt and equity-linked capital markets, including commercial paper, MTN, Eurobonds, convertible and exchangeable bonds and other structured equity issuances. Robert Flanigan, who¬†is dual-qualified in New York and France, focuses on European debt capital markets, including project bonds, regulatory capital, convertible and exchangeable bonds, US private placements and sovereign debt. Bernd Bohr, whose¬†main focus is high yield issuance in Germany, also handles¬†investment grade transactions, including SEC-registered offerings, Rule 144A offering and Reg S offerings, exceeding¬†‚ā¨1bn in value.

Practice head(s):James Taylor; Bernd Bohr; Robert Flanigan

Other key lawyers:Asli Aksoylu

Testimonials

'The team has true experts in the capital markets space. It covers a broad range of products - including covered bonds, which involves a special set of complexities - and is efficient, thorough and dedicated'.

'James Taylor is a true expert in his field and a top-notch professional. He is responsive, enthusiastic and highly experienced. He and his team always deliver the highest quality of service'.

Key Clients

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Novartis

Barclays

Abbott Laboratories

HSH Nordbank

Progroup

Fincantieri

Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec

Klesch Group

The Royal Bank of Scotland

Work highlights

  • Represented Canada Pension Plan Investment Board on the update of its CAD$25bn global MTN debt issuance programme and its CAD$1.5bn 3.00% fixed rate notes, the net proceeds of which are to be applied to green and sustainable investments.
  • Advised BNP Paribas, J.P. Morgan Securities plc, Mizuho International plc, Deutsche Bank AG (London Branch), Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and Wells Fargo Securities International Limited as joint lead managers on the issue and offer by Whirlpool Finance Luxembourg S.à r.l. of registered notes held under the new safekeeping structure.
  • Represented the arranger, RBS, on the update of a programme providing for the issue and offer by HSH Nordbank of multiple types of notes and Pfandbriefe governed by both English and German law.
  • Advised Barclays Bank PLC on the operations and update of its $20bn global collateralised MTN programme.
  • Represented Novartis AG on the offering of €750m 0.050% notes due 2023, €750m 1.375% notes due 2030 and €750m 1.700% notes due 2038 by Novartis Finance S.A.

At Norton Rose Fulbright, 'the team has excellent knowhow, is quick to respond and has proven able to adapt to local requirements', according to one client, while another remarks that 'the team is responsive, independent and offers first-class legal advice'. The London capital markets practice is highly regarded for its work in emerging markets debt, sovereign and supranational issuance, debt restructuring, corporate trust and Islamic finance, as well as having the leading Canadian debt practice in London. It is also expanding its portfolio of work into new areas and, in 2018, it handled a project bond to fund hospital construction in Brescia, Italy, and also took the lead role in the world’s first Humanitarian Impact Bond. Farmida Bi is a leading light for corporate trustee advice, sovereign debt, project bonds and restructurings; Peter Young handles cross-border transactions under English and New York law; and Peter Noble leads on Canadian debt capital markets work.

Practice head(s):Andrew Carmichael

Other key lawyers:Farmida Bi; Peter Young; Peter Noble; Vishal Mawkin; Andrew Coote; Jacqueline Heng

Testimonials

'The firm has a very robust team'.

'The support was continuous. No question was too stupid'.

'Each individual delivers to high standards'.

'Farmida Bi is an expert in the field of Islamic finance and she has exceptional all-round knowledge on legal matters'.

'Senior associate Vishal Mawkin and partner Peter Young are easily accessible, proficient and quick to respond'.

Key Clients

Cell C (Pty) Ltd

Citi

Deutsche Bank

Goldman Sachs International

Government of Pakistan, Ministry of Finance

Intertrust

J.P. Morgan Securities plc.

Nordex

Republic of Angola, Ministry of Finance

Royal Bank of Canada

Scotiabank

Telenor ASA

Toronto-Dominion Bank

Unicredit

US Bank

Wells Fargo

Work highlights

  • Advised the Government of Angola on combined $3.5bn Eurobonds listed on the London Stock Exchange.
  • Advised Telenor, the leading Nordic telecoms company, on its €10bn debt issuance programme.
  • Advised DEKA Bank Deutsche Girozentrale on its position in respect of the insolvency of Portugal Telecom International Finance BV, the issuer, under an English law €7.5bn EMTN programme.
  • Advised the initial purchasers on Venator Finance and Venator Materials Corporation’s issue of $375m notes, which were offered in connection with the initial public offering of Venator Materials PLC.
  • Advised Bank of New York Mellon on an €85m project bond to fund hospital construction in Brescia, Italy.

The London capital markets group at Shearman & Sterling LLP 'has a wide-ranging skillset that allows clients to benefit from different views and experiences'. The firm handles every aspect of the DCM market but stands out for complex financing transactions that utilise more than one type of debt instrument. Practice head David Dixter has extensive experience in the Nordic region; Trevor Ingram, who is qualified in New York and Ontario law, had an active year in investment grade and project bonds; newly promoted partner and 'one of the hardest working lawyers in the City' Pawel Szaja leads the firm's Emerging Europe desk. In 2018, Szaja handled major transactions in EMEA including Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline’s $3bn senior secured bonds, in which he advised a syndicate of banks. Marwa Elborai is recommended for advising issuers, sponsors and underwriters on both investment grade and high yield debt.

Practice head(s):David Dixter

Other key lawyers:Trevor Ingram; Pawel Szaja; Marwa Elborai; Jonathan Handyside

Testimonials

'The balance of deep product knowledge with a wider viewpoint and market visibility of precedents is valuable'.

'Trevor Ingram has a collaborative approach, which has diffused many difficult conversations to reach acceptable compromises, while retaining goodwill all round'.

Key Clients

Sasol Limited

J.P.Morgan

NatWest Markets

First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC

Anglo American

Morgan Stanley

Citigroup

Nokia

Work highlights

  • Represented Sasol Limited in connection with the offering of $1.5bn 5.875% notes due 2024 and $750m 6.500% notes due 2028 issued by its indirect wholly owned subsidiary Sasol Financing USA LLC and guaranteed by Sasol Limited.
  • As designated underwriters counsel for RBS, the firm advised on several notes offerings, including representation of the underwriters, led by NatWest Markets Securities Inc., in connection with the RBS offering of $1.75bn 5.079% fixed-rate/floating-rate senior notes due 2030.
  • Represented the syndicate of banks led by Citigroup and HSBC, as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners, and DBS Bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank and SMBC Nikko Capital Markets, as joint bookrunners, in connection with Emirates Sembcorp Water & Power Company’s offering of $400m 4.450% senior secured bonds due 2035.
  • Advised Anglo American on its offering of $650m 4.500% senior notes due 2028.
  • Represented Nokia in connection with the update of its €5bn EMTN programme and its drawdown of €750m in senior unsecured notes.

Simmons & Simmons is recommended for the 'enthusiasm and accessibility of its partners', and one client remarks that it has 'a strong team of individuals with deep experience and expertise'. The debt capital markets practice is best known for advising on high-end issuer-side work for large corporates such as British Land and Rentokil, and handling underwriter work for major investment banks. One client notes that the firm is 'really very good at what it does, with a small and quietly efficient team focused on high-end and complex standalone deals'. From London, the firm advises on both US and English law debt transactions, including complex matters such as the $500m non-dilutive exchangeable bond issue by Swiss Re. Practice head Simon Ovenden and key partner Jonathan Mellor each have more than 30 years’ experience  in the market. Piers Summerfield is 'a real star' in equity-linked transactions.

Practice head(s):Simon Ovenden

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Mellor; Piers Summerfield; Charles Hawes; Chris Walton; Leon Yap

Testimonials

'The team is always available and makes the client feel like the number one priority'.

'The team is extremely knowledgeable and practical. It has a wealth of expertise which is applied in a commercial and sensible way, and it is extremely responsive'.

'Jonathan Mellor and Leon Yap are both strong lawyers who are highly skilled at navigating legal risk in advising clients and do so in an approachable and comforting manner'.

'Piers Summerfield is calm and considered and nothing feels like too much trouble for him'.

'Piers Summerfield's legal skills are excellent and he pre-empts legal issues with practical solutions. He stands out for his responsiveness, commercial approach and 'can do' attitude'.

Key Clients

LendInvest

British Land

Pearson plc

Rentokil Initial plc

Haitong Bank

Just Energy

Jefferies

Berenberg

Schlumberger Finance Finance SAS

Work highlights

  • Advised the joint bookrunners on the exchangeable bond issuance by a Swiss insurance company repackaged through a Dutch SPV, with bespoke equity-linked and regulatory capital features and a hedge to offset share delivery obligations.
  • Advised Cosmo Pharmaceuticals NV on €175m convertible bonds due 2023.
  • Advised Schlumberger Finance France on the issuance of €600m guaranteed notes due February 2026.
  • Advised CYBG plc on the issuance of £500m fixed rate reset callable senior notes due 2026.
  • Advised LendInvest Limited on the issuance of £40m retail bonds.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP climbs the ranking given the breadth of its London capital markets practice and its involvement in significant transactions including Eurobonds, project bonds, sovereign bonds, convertible bonds and many other complex debt offerings. The practice, in which partners follow the US model of handling both debt and equity capital markets work, also handles significant debt restructuring mandates, which in 2018 included the restructuring of $600m of debt for Brunswick Rail. Often noted for its blue chip corporate issuer client base, the firm also has strong bank relationships and advised on more than $20bn in notes offerings for HSBC, and for underwriters in two separate $12bn sovereign bond offerings by the state of Qatar, which were the largest bond offerings by an emerging market sovereign in 2018 and 2019. The firm is particularly active in the CIS, Qatar, Egypt, Portugal and the Nordic states. Practice head Danny Tricot handles English law aspects of debt deals, while James McDonald and Pranav Trivedi focus on US securities law.

Practice head(s):Danny Tricot

Other key lawyers:James McDonald; Pranav Trivedi; Maria Protopapa; Adam Howard; Riley Graebner

Key Clients

National Atomic Company Kazatomprom

HSBC Securities (USA) Inc

Brunswick Rail Limited

Ashtead Group plc

Phoenix Group Holdings

Fabbrica Italiana Lapis ed Affini (F.I.L.A.)

Credit Suisse Group AG

Barclays plc

Vantiv Inc.

Public Joint Stock Company Cherkizovo Group

Work highlights

  • Advised the underwriters including Al Khaliji, Barclays PLC, and Credit Agricole CIB on two separate $12bn sovereign bond offerings by the state of Qatar.
  • Advised HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. as lead underwriter in offerings by HSBC Holdings plc totalling more than $20bn.
  • Advised HSBC Bank plc as lead underwriter in offerings totalling £3bn.
  • Advised Ashtead Group plc in its $600m Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of 5.250% second priority senior secured notes due 2026.
  • Advised Brunswick Rail Limited in connection with the final redemption of the $600m 6.50% guaranteed notes due 2019 issued by one of its Irish subsidiaries, Brunswick Rail Finance DAC.

Slaughter and May has a team of multi-specialist finance lawyers, who handle debt issuance alongside other types of financing. The firm is regarded as a leading adviser to issuers and acts for a high number of FTSE100 companies. It has particular expertise in equity-linked debt, hybrid capital and subordinated debt matters. The practice counts Diageo, Santander, Standard Chartered and Westpac among its clients for repeat debt issuance, while in 2018, it acted on first-time issuance for Euroclear and Compagnie Financiere Richemont. It has notable expertise in the aviation, pharmaceutical and food and beverage sectors, and has a growing number of client relationships with banks and insurance companies. Matthew Tobin, who handles a wide range of banking and refinancing work including capital markets and securitisation, and Guy O’Keefe, who is skilled in liability management transactions, are among the key partners.

Practice head(s):Nilufer von Bismarck; Matthew Tobin

Other key lawyers:Guy O’Keefe; Caroline Phillips; Oliver Storey; Oliver Wicker

Key Clients

Euroclear

Compagnie Financiere Richemont S.A

Unite Group Plc

Close Brothers

Standard Chartered

Just Group

Santander

Westpac

Diageo

Bunzl

Work highlights

  • Advising Richemont International Holding S.A. on the issuance of €1.5bn 1% notes due 2026, €1.25bn 1.5% notes due 2030 and €1.25bn 2% notes due 2038.
  • Advised Euroclear, a leading settlement services provider, on various debt capital markets transactions, including the standalone issuance of €300m 1.500% senior notes due 2030 and €400m subordinated resettable fixed rate notes due 2048.
  • Advised The Unite Group plc on the issuance of £275m 3.5% guaranteed senior unsecured bonds due 2028.
  • Advised Close Brothers Group plc on the establishment of its new £1bn EMTN programme and on the issue of £250m 2.750% senior unsecured notes due 2023, which was the inaugural issuance under the programme.
  • Advised Bunzl Finance plc on its debut issuance of £300m 2.250% notes due 2025.

The debt finance practice at Akin Gump LLP in London advises issuers, institutional investors and hedge funds based in, or with primary assets in, the US, the UK, Europe, Russia and the CIS, the Middle East and Asia. The firm is one of the most prominent in the City for cross-border private placement financing transactions, in which it has more than 20 years' experience. 'A combination of deep market knowledge and pragmatism sets the firm apart', remarks one client, who describes key partner Barry Russell as 'the kingpin, set apart by his experience'. Also recommended is Robert Aulsebrook, who advises on Eurobonds, loan notes, convertible debt securities and commercial paper. The firm hired partner Thomas O’Connor and senior counsel Tori Weir from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP to add expertise in the acquisition of privately placed debt and equity securities and other secured and unsecured financing transactions.

Practice head(s):Barry Russell; Robert Aulsebrook

Other key lawyers:Tom O’Connor; Tori Weir; Mark Mansell; Stephen Peppiatt; Sam Brodie

Testimonials

'The firm has a strong team; it is approachable and available, with a commercial approach'.

'It has the ability to respond quickly and creatively to changing environments, and there is excellent cooperation between units within the firm under the focused leadership of a deal team leader'.

'The firm has deep understanding of our company and the way it operates and, as a result, is always able to provide a highly customised service and advice'.

'The team brings 24/7 focus and attention to our processes and requests, with the ability to cooperate efficiently with our various team members'.

'Barry Russell is thorough in establishing the facts of the matter before establishing a framework for the key parties to operate within, and then for driving the process. It is reassuring to have him on your side'.

'Stephen Peppiatt and Thomas O'Connor are strong lawyers with a commercial and pragmatic approach'.

Key Clients

PJSC LUKOIL

VEON

CEVA Group Plc

JSC RusHydro

Global Telecom Holding SAE

Banglalink Digital Communications Limited

Volga Gas plc

Work highlights

  • Advised the holders of certain private placement notes issued by Capita Holdings on the amendments of note purchase and guaranty agreements entered into by Capita Holdings, as issuer, and Capita plc, as guarantor, in connection with a rights issue by Capita plc and the disposals of certain of its non-core businesses.
  • Represented CEVA on its offering of $50m 9.0% first lien senior secured notes due 2020. The notes were listed on Euronext Dublin (formerly known as the Irish Stock Exchange).

Arnold & Porter's debt capital markets practice is best known for its representation of sovereign issuers in international financial transactions, often in challenging jurisdictions. The practice, led by Jeremy Willcocks with support from former US Executive Director of the World Bank Whitney Debevoise, who works in both the London and New York offices, has a stellar client roster that includes the Republic of Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Federative Republic of Brazil, Hungary, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Turkey and the Bank of Zambia. Willcocks, whose innovative work included the debut diaspora bond for the Republic of Nigeria, leads the European side of the practice, while Debevoise focuses on US law.

Practice head(s):Jeremy Willcocks

Other key lawyers:Whitney Debevoise; Benjamin Kieft

Work highlights

  • Advised the Republic of Turkey on a $2bn Sukuk offering, its sixth such financing transaction in recent years, which was structured to comply with Sharia law and involved the issuance of lease certificates representing interests in real estate assets owned by the Republic that were transferred to the issuer and leased back to the Republic.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's capital markets practice is multi-disciplinary, with its lawyers advising on both debt and equity deals. The firm has four partners and two counsel who dedicate the majority of their time to this practice, with a further three partners regularly assisting with complex capital markets transactions. 'The firm has deep understanding of the US capital markets and regulatory environment', remarks one client, who notes that counsel Sarah Lewis 'is a powerhouse of ideas when she faces complex matters'. Key partner David Gottlieb is a recognised expert in the firm's key areas of debt transactions in Russia, the CIS and other emerging markets. Sebastian Sperber, Pierre-Marie Boury and Raj Panasar are the other key partners handling both ECM and DCM transactions. Alongside its emerging markets work, the firm has a strong presence in the Yankee bonds market and in debt transactions in established markets including the Nordic states.

Other key lawyers:Sebastian Sperber; Pierre-Marie Boury; David Gottlieb; Raj Panasar; Andrew Shutter; Polina Lyadnova; Jim Ho; Aseet Dalvi; Sarah Lewis

Testimonials

'The firm exhibits great teamwork and coordination through its offices and has a supportive and creative approach to transactional and regulatory work'.

'Counsel Sarah Lewis is an exceptional individual; she is responsive, proactive, clear in her advice and with extensive knowledge and experience. She is personable, driven, creative and to the point'.

Key Clients

BAML

GlaxoSmithKline

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

Goldman Sachs

The Hellenic Republic

HSBC

Republic of Côte d’Ivoire

UC Rusal

Santander UK

Work highlights

  • Advised the underwriters for BT's offering of $675m senior notes and $700m senior notes under its shelf registration statement.
  • Advised HSBC on its $6bn multi-tranche TLAC shelf takedown, consisting of $2bn of fixed rate/floating rate senior unsecured notes, $2bn of floating rate senior unsecured notes due 2021 and $2bn of floating rate senior unsecured notes due 2024.
  • Advised GlaxoSmithKline Capital Inc. on its $4bn notes offering in three tranches of fixed rate notes, and GlaxoSmithKline Capital plc in its $2bn offering of fixed and floating rate notes.
  • Advised the underwriters in Bank Muscat (SAOG)’s update of its $2bn EMTN programme.
  • Advised the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire in an international sovereign bond offering of €850m notes and €850m notes offerings.

'A relentless focus on the clients' needs set it apart', remarks a client of CMS, who notes that 'the senior partners are accessible and available, and they are backed by a high-quality team'. The London group plays a pivotal role in the firm's global capital markets practice, which has specialists in 42 jurisdictions and focuses on large, multi-jurisdictional transactions with complex cross-border elements. 'Highly responsive and engaged' practice head Michael Cavers and Jason Harding, who is 'an exceptional lawyer with wide expertise and a problem-solving mentality', have experience in advising banks, issuers and trustees on a broad range of treasury matters as part of practices that also encompass derivatives and securitisation. Kirsty Templar and Chris Clark are associates to watch.

Practice head(s):Michael Cavers; Will Dibble

Other key lawyers:Jason Harding; Chris Clark; Kirsty Templar

Testimonials

'The CMS team has a broad range of talent, with both partners and associates being very knowledgeable in their field'.

'I have worked with the DCM team for several years now and continue to be impressed with its knowledge of our sector and understanding of our business'.

'Jason Harding leaves ego at the door and seeks compromise and win/win situations'.

Key Clients

Assured Guaranty

BrokerCreditServices

Commerzbank

Deutsche Bank

Ei Group (formerly Enterprise Inns)

Fortress Group

Iron Mountain

JP Morgan

National Australia Bank

Northumbrian Water

OTP Bank

Standard Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Ei Group on its £150m 7.50% senior notes due 2024.
  • Advising the Wellcome Trust on its high-profile £750m 2.517% bonds due 2118, or “century bonds".
  • Assisting UK Power Networks with the update of its multi-issuer MTN programme, and advising on a number of debt issuances including a tap issue of £50m 5.625% notes due 2030.
  • Advising Northumbrian Water Finance on its £300m 2.375% guaranteed bonds due 2027.
  • Advising NIE Networks on its £350m 2.5% guaranteed notes due 2025.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP acts for corporate issuers, investment banks and financial sponsors in a range of offerings, including investment grade and high yield corporate bonds, and sovereign and supranational debt issuance. Often targeted at US investors, these deals include SEC-registered, Rule 144A and Regulation S offerings, as well as private placements. The practice in London frequently advises first-time issuers of Yankee bonds, as well as handling complex transactions for corporates such as British American Tobacco and Bacardi. The practice, led by Philip Boeckman and George Stephanakis, also acts as underwriter counsel for major investment banks, among which are Barclays, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank. Its sovereign and supranational clients include the European Investment Bank and the Republic of Poland.

Practice head(s):Philip Boeckman; George Stephanakis

Other key lawyers:Alyssa Caples; Roberto Bruno

Key Clients

Bacardi

Barclays

B.A.T Capital Corporation (British American Tobacco)

BNP PARIBAS

Citigroup

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

European Investment Bank

Goldman Sachs International

JP Morgan Chase

Morgan Stanley

Work highlights

  • Represented the European Investment Bank in nine registered notes offerings totalling $28bn.
  • Cravath represented B.A.T Capital Corporation in its Rule 144A exchange offer totalling up to $17.25bn.
  • Represented Bacardi Limited in its $2.6bn 144A/Reg. S notes offering.
  • Represented RELX Capital Inc. in its $950m registered notes offering.

The London office of Dechert LLP plays a central role in the firm’s global capital markets practice and its lawyers advise on the full range of international debt and equity transactions, as well as liability management exercises. The 'highly competent and very dedicated team' acts for global investment banks, financial institutions and a wide range of issuers, including sovereigns, quasi-sovereigns, corporates and investment funds, often in debt issuance in emerging markets. It has notable experience in the Middle East and North Africa, the Mediterranean basin, the CIS and Caucasus regions and Central Asia. It also has a role in developing sectors such as green bonds. Of counsel Camille Abousleiman, the firm's former head of international capital markets, is now a minister in the government of Lebanon, though he retains an advisory role in the practice. Key partner Patrick Lyons is 'very knowledgeable and able to handle clients with great flexibility'.

Practice head(s):Douglas Getter

Other key lawyers:Camille Abousleiman; Jennifer Rees; Patrick Lyons

Testimonials

'The practice works efficiently and smartly'.

'The London team was able to deal extremely effectively with a multi-tranche transaction in foreign currencies with separate issuer and guarantors based in Asia. Time differences, different and complex regulatory environments and the demand of a multi-party transaction were not problems at all, and the team delivered on schedule and within budget'.

'The place the firm occupies in the Egyptian market has become really considerable over the years. Dechert has shown great flexibility to serve the Egyptian market, while maintaining its high international standard, as expected from a firm of its size and position'.

'Patrick Lyons is a 'go-to' partner. He is always easy to reach and enjoys a great sense of humour, which comes in very handy in complex transactions, as it puts everyone at ease and gets commercial and legal agreements done easily'.

'Jennifer Rees is a dedicated associate who is always available to handle any work required at short notice'.

'Camille Abousleiman was highly committed to our project; without his creative solutions it would have been difficult for the project to be completed'.

Key Clients

Arab Republic of Egypt

Banque Central de Tunisie

BLOM Bank s.a.l.

JSC Development Bank of Kazakhstan

JSC National Company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy

JSC National Company KazMunayGas

Kingdom of Bahrain

Lebanese Republic

Republic of Albania

Sindicatum Renewable Energy Company Pte Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised the Arab Republic of Egypt, as lead counsel on US and English law, under Egypt’s $20bn GMTN programme.
  • Advised JSC National Company KazMunayGas, the Kazakhstan state-owned oil and gas company, on its issuance of an aggregate of $3.25bn Eurobonds under its $10.5bn GMTN programme established by KMG and its finance subsidiary KazMunaiGaz Finance Sub.
  • Advised the Arab Republic of Egypt in connection with the issuance of its $860m 7.125% notes due 2026 and $1.7bn 7.625% notes due 2030.
  • Advised the Kingdom of Bahrain in connection with the issuance of its $1bn Sukuk in Trust Certificates due October 2025, through CBB International Sukuk Company 7.
  • Advised the Lebanese Republic (Government of the Lebanese Republic) in connection with a $5.5bn multi-tranche notes issuance under its $34bn GMTN programme.

Dentons is well known for the strength of its emerging markets debt practice, which relies on the firm's extensive global network to provide local law, English law and US securities law advice across more than 70 jurisdictions. The firm has a long track record of advising on transactions in Africa, the Middle East, Turkey, Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS on behalf of sovereign, financial institution and energy-sector clients. One client remarks that the practice, led by David Cohen is a 'very dedicated team and pleasant to work with'; Cohen and key partner Nick Hayday are 'very experienced'. Among the firm's other 'pragmatic, user-friendly and hands-on partners' are US securities specialist Cameron Half and key advisor to trustees, security agents and other agency service providers Catriona Lloyd. Matthew Sapte is also recommended for Sharia-compliant and structured debt transactions.

Practice head(s):David Cohen

Other key lawyers:Nick Hayday; Cameron Half; Catriona Lloyd; Matthew Sapte; Nikolas Colbridge; Nicholas Yao

Testimonials

'The team has hands-on partners with very good market experience; they are pragmatic and user-friendly'.

'David Cohen and Nick Hayday are both very experienced and provide very good client coverage'.

Key Clients

JSC Silknet

CPI Property Group

Coventry Building Society

Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited

Faurecia

Lietuvos Energija, UAB

FirstRand Bank

Chris Iacovides and Andri Antoniou (of CRI Group) – liquidators of Mriya Agro Holding Public Limited

Ryanair

Morgan Stanley

ABN AMRO

RBC Capital Markets

SMBC Nikko

Goldman Sachs International

The Toronto-Dominion Bank

E.P. Energy

Maire Tecnimont

The Standard Bank of South Africa

Work highlights

  • Advised one of the leading convergent telecommunications operators in Georgia, JSC Silknet, on its debut $200m Reg S bond issue.
  • Advising the CPI Property Group, one of the largest real estate companies in the CEE region, on its €3bn EMTN programme.
  • Advising Coventry Building Society in relation to its €5bn EMTN programme.
  • Acted as international counsel in HDFC's $2.8bn Regulation S EMTN programme and the issue of INR10bn Masala bonds under the programme.
  • Advising E.P. Energy on an offer to purchase up to €41m aggregate principal amount of its €498m 5.875% senior secured notes due 2019.

DLA Piper has a strong reputation for advising clients in new markets in terms of jurisdictions, products and sectors, and it has actively expanded the scope of its work to encompass liability management, redemptions, amendments and tender offers. In 2018, it handled mandates involving fintech-related assets, social and green investment bonds and Masala bonds. It acts for the full range of market participants in both developed and emerging markets, notably India and Turkey, and its recent work includes debt transactions in sectors as diverse as financial services, real estate, technology, infrastructure and renewable energy. Key partner Martin Bartlam specialises in structured credit and asset management, and acts for many private equity credit funds, banks and corporations; international co-chair of financial services Vincent Keaveny acts for issuers and underwriters in international debt capital markets transactions; and Mark Dwyer handles both debt and structured finance matters.

Practice head(s):Martin Bartlam; Vincent Keaveny; Mark Dwyer

Other key lawyers:Steven Krivisnkas; Joywin Matthew

Testimonials

'The team has driven the efforts to build the practice, and the high degree of commitment at the partner level is unique'.

'It has a capable cross-border outfit that is able to communicate across offices and get things done'.

Key Clients

Banca IMI

NatWest Markets

Morgan Stanley

Places for People

Mount Street Mortgage Servicing Limited

Workspace group

Work highlights

  • Advised the arrangers and dealers on the establishment of the INR50bn guaranteed MTN programme by the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board as unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed by The Government of Kerala, acting through the Finance Department of Kerala.
  • Advising Banca IMI on 2018 updates to its EMTN programme.
  • Acted as legal advisers, as to English and Spanish law, to the arranger and dealers, including Banco Santander and Banco Bilbao, in connection with the update of the €6bn EMTN programme of ADIF-ALTA VELOCIDAD.
  • Advised the dealers (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Banco Santander, HSBC Bank and Société Générale), as to English and Spanish law, on the issue of €600m 1.25% eligible green projects notes due May 2026 by ADIF- ALTA VELOCIDAD.
  • Advising Merlin Entertainment on the English, Danish, German and Italian law aspects of its $400m 5.75% senior notes issuance.

Hogan Lovells International LLP handles high-profile and complex securities law transactions for both issuers and underwriters. Among these are bank and bond restructurings, as well as new debt issuance. The debt practice has notable expertise in the automotive, real estate and financial institutions sectors, in which it handled the servicing of large EMTN programmes in 2018. Key partner Andrew Carey is experienced in international debt offerings, including securities programmes and corporate and sovereign bonds. 'The firm has a very good trustee-focused team with good resourcing at all levels', remarks a client. Partner Kit Johnson focuses on advising corporate finance trustees on new debt issuances and on post-issuance matters such as defaults and restructurings. The firm also has significant US securities law expertise in partner Sylvain Dhennin and associate Philip Schuster.

Practice head(s):James Doyle

Other key lawyers:Andrew Carey; Kit Johnson; Philip Schuster; Sylvain Dhennin; Megan James

Testimonials

'Andrew Carey is a senior partner with excellent experience in difficult trustee matters'.

'Senior associate Megan James is exceptional in her role; her attention to detail and work ethic are excellent'.

Work highlights

  • Advised Afreximbank on the annual update of its Irish-listed $5bn EMTN programme and a $500m fixed rate drawdown off the programme.
  • Advised M&G as purchaser of a £50m private placement of bonds to fund a UK NHS Foundation Trustee funding for Northumberland.
  • Advising Affinity Water on the substitution of the issuer under its £1.1bn whole business debt structure that Affinity uses to finance its regulated activities.
  • Assisted with the update of Mediobanca’s Euro commercial papers programme and with respect to the granting of the Short-Term European Paper (STEP) label from STEP Market as to English, Luxembourg and Italian law.
  • Advised the committee of holders of senior notes issued by Mriya Agro Holding Public Limited (and its subsidiaries), a large farming conglomerate based in Western Ukraine that is in liquidation.

The London office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP handles the full range of debt capital markets transactions in the EMEA region, including deals listed in the US. It advises on UK, US and EU securities laws and regulations across all industry sectors, and is known for its strength in innovative and technically challenging deals, including the first ever blue bond, as opposed to commoditised capital markets work. The firm also has a major presence in emerging markets debt issuance, and Carter Brod is a key adviser to sovereign entities. Brod is qualified in both US and English law capital and he specialises in advising issuers on DCM transactions including Eurobonds, MTN programmes, sovereign bonds, liability management and convertible bonds. Head of the capital markets and public companies practice Bruce Johnston also plays a key role in large debt transactions.

Practice head(s):Bruce Johnston

Other key lawyers:Carter Brod

Key Clients

Calvert Impact Capital

Tengri Bank

Republic of Suriname

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Cox & Kings

Chagala Group

Paladin Energy Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as the sole lead manager, on a $250m bond offering by Energoatom, a state-owned nuclear energy company in Ukraine.
  • Represented the investors in a $15m sovereign bond offering by the Republic of Seychelles, which was the world's first-ever blue bond transaction.
  • Acted as English, US and Kazakhstan counsel to Tengri Bank, a privately-owned commercial bank in Kazakhstan, in a planned $175m Rule 144A/Regulation S Eurobond offering.
  • Represented Global Ports in a multi-jurisdictional self-tender offer in relation to its $700m of outstanding Eurobonds.
  • Advised Paladin Energy, the world's eighth-largest uranium producer with two mines in Africa and projects in Australia and Canada, as US counsel on a consent solicitation in respect of $274m of existing convertible bonds as well as a new $115m offering.

Globally, Morrison & Foerster LLP is a leading securities and capital markets firm that advises issuers, underwriters and agents in domestic and international, private and public financings. The small London team focuses predominantly on private placements, in which it has 'strong market credentials, knowledge and experience, and is very responsive to agents, issuers and all parties they engage with'. Key partner Brian Bates focuses on advising non-US issuers on cross-border private placements of securities to US financial institutions and one client remarks that he is 'not your conventional lawyer - he brings his own style and personality to his work along with vast experience in the private placement market'. Key partner Scott Ashton and structured finance partner and banking regulation expert Jeremy Jennings-Mares also play key roles in the practice.

Other key lawyers:Brian Bates; Scott Ashton; Jeremy Jennings-Mares; Thomas Drake

Testimonials

'The team's biggest strengths are its responsiveness and market knowledge. The practice knows what needs to be done to get the best deal for its clients, pushing the barriers sufficiently, but not too far so as to upset the entire transaction'.

'The team delivered excellent quality work in short time frames and was a valued source of advice and counsel throughout'.

'We valued Brian Bates' honesty throughout and found his approach refreshing. He was supported by a very committed team, with a special mention for Thomas Drake'.

Key Clients

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Royal Bank of Canada

Royal Bank of Scotland

VTTI B.V.

Coats Group Finance Company Limited

Vesuvius Holdings Limited

Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust plc

Informa plc

University of Edinburgh

Alliance Trust plc

Britvic plc

Newlon Housing Trust

NSI N.V.

Ferguson plc

Work highlights

  • Represented McKesson Corporation in its public offering of $250m aggregate principal amount of floating rate notes due 2020 and $500m aggregate principal amount of 1.625% notes due 2026.
  • Acted as US and English counsel to SoftBank Group in connection with its approximately $2.5bn offering of senior notes.
  • Counsel to issuer JPMorgan Japanese Investment Trust in the private placement of senior notes.
  • Acted as US and English counsel to Merrill Lynch International and the other dealers in relation to the issuance by Bank of America Corporation of €2bn floating rate senior notes due 2024 and €1.25bn fixed/floating rate senior notes due 2028.
  • Counsel to issuer Alliance Trust in the private placement of senior notes.

Reed Smith LLP's capital markets practice operates on a global basis, with strong collaboration between its offices in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, the US and China. From London, it provides both US and English law capability, and it acts for both issuers and underwriters in debt offerings in Europe and in emerging markets. It also has a role in innovative transactions such as social and development impact bonds, as well as having specific industry expertise in the life sciences, healthcare, energy and natural resources, shipping, transport and financial services sectors. Ranajoy Basu is recommended for a range of debt offerings, including high yield bonds, while James Fisher has an acclaimed corporate trust practice.

Practice head(s):Delphine Currie; Tamara Box

Other key lawyers:Ranajoy Basu; James Fisher

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP has an integrated US and English law DCM practice in London that frequently handles high-value, multi-jurisdictional offerings. It acts for leading investment banks. Vanessa Blackmore is a leading light in the market; she handles a broad range of M&A, private equity, international equity and debt capital markets financings, including debt liability management. John O’connor, who acts for issuers and underwriters in equity and debt offerings, also plays a key role in the practice.

Addleshaw Goddard advises on a wide scope of debt capital markets work, including publicly offered listed issues and privately placed deals. On the public side, it acts for banks such as Barclays and Lloyds in their roles as dealers and managers, and for issuers and trustees. A key specialism is social housing finance, in which department head Beth Collett is a leading light, and the practice, formed two years ago, handles large mandates in that area. Among these deals in 2018 was the issuance by London & Quadrant Housing Trust of £250m of secured bonds, in which the firm acted for RBS, Lloyds and Santander as joint bookrunners and Prudential Trustee Company Limited as bond trustee and security trustee.

Practice head(s):Beth Collett

Other key lawyers:Daniel Foong

Testimonials

'The team is very knowledgeable and able to structure on time and within budget'.

'Approachable and adaptive, the team responds to changing situations superbly and is on hand to deal with issues as they arise with practical, workable solutions'.

'Beth Collett and Daniel Foong have specialist DCM social housing knowledge'.

'Beth Collett is always professional and her adaptability makes her stand out. She is collaborative and practical'.

Key Clients

Banco Santander, S.A

Barclays Bank Plc

HSBC Bank Plc

Lloyds Bank Plc

Natwest Markets Plc

RBC Europe Limited

Prudential Trustee Company Limited

BPHA Limited

IDCM Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised RBS, Lloyds and Santander as joint bookrunners and Prudential Trustee Company Limited as bond trustee and security trustee in relation to the issue by London & Quadrant Housing Trust of £250m 2.65% secured bonds due 2028 and £250m 3.125% secured bonds due 2053.
  • Advised Barclays Bank, HSBC Bank and Banco Santander as joint bookrunners and Prudential Trustee Company Limited as bond trustee and security trustee in connection with the issue by Peabody Capital No 2 of £450m 3.25% secured bonds due 2048.
  • Advised HSBC Bank, Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets and NatWest Markets as joint bookrunners and Prudential Trustee Company Limited as bond and security trustee in respect of the issue by Southern Housing Group Limited of £300m 3.50% secured bonds due 2047.
  • Acted for bpha Finance on its tap issue of £150m 4.816% secured bonds due 2044.
  • Acted for Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc and NatWest Markets Plc as joint bookrunners and Prudential Trustee Company Limited as bond trustee and security trustee in respect of the issue by Karbon Homes Limited of £250m 3.375% secured bonds due 2047.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP joins the ranking this year. It focuses on project bonds, housing association secured bonds and secured high yield issuance, and its ability to provide US capital markets advice from London is seeing its market share steadily grow. The practice is led by Prashanth Satyadeva and provides both transactional and regulatory advice to a broad range of clients; recently, this has included Amber Infrastructure Limited and TradeRisks Limited. Satyadeva acts for arrangers and corporates on financings financed in the bond markets, and has 'very detailed knowledge' of the banking, real estate, infrastructure, renewables and insurance sectors.

Practice head(s):Prashanth Satyadeva

Testimonials

'Very detailed knowledge across all the sectors we work in. Prashanth Satyadeva is the source of this knowledge.'

Key Clients

Amber Infrastructure Limited

TAURON Polska Energia S.A.

TradeRisks Limited

Playtech plc

MHCLG/Homes England

Work highlights

  • Advising the issuer on its on-going disclosure and reporting obligations arising in respect of the issuance of €500m 2.375% notes by TAURON Polska Energia.
  • Acted for Amber Infrastructure Limited, a global infrastructure investment business, in connection with the establishment of a £600m project bond vehicle.
  • Acted for TradeRisks Limited as arranger and dealer in respect of £250m 3.375% secured bonds due 2045 issued by Stonewater Funding.

Macfarlanes LLP has a small dedicated debt capital markets practice; it focuses on complex transactions for financial institutions, corporates, investors and other market participants. In 2018, the firm advised on high-profile matters including issuances by Venn Partners LLP, which was appointed by the Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government to operate the £3.5bn Private Rented Sector Housing Guarantee Scheme bond programme. The firm is 'very experienced in the debt fund market' and practice head Richard Fletcher is 'a very capable lawyer, who is very responsive and good to work with'. He frequently advises financial institutions, corporates, fund managers, investors, servicers and trustees on a broad range of financing matters, primarily focusing on debt capital markets, as well as structured finance, securitisation and speciality finance.

Practice head(s):Richard Fletcher

Testimonials

'Richard Fletcher has strong technical knowledge and a thorough understanding of key issues'.

Key Clients

Alchemy Partners LLP

Castle Trust

ITE Group plc

Regional REIT

Venn Partners LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised Venn Partners in respect of its £3.5bn bond programme established by PRS Finance in July 2015.
  • Advised main market-listed commercial property fund Regional REIT on its issuance of £50m of unsecured bonds with a fixed interest rate of 4.5% per annum and maturity date of 2024.
  • Advised Alchemy Partners LLP in respect of the issue by Chianti Bidco of senior secured floating rate notes due 2025 to part fund the acquisition of YLDA and its subsidiaries.

The debt capital markets practice at O'Melveny focuses purely on private placements for issuers. In 2018, it handled more than 15 such deals with a total value in excess of $4bn, both for debut and repeat issuers. The practice also advised on numerous amendments and reorganisations of US private placements (USPP). Practice head Andrew Weiler has more than 20 years' experience in the cross-border USPP market and he frequently acts for non-US issuers on deals valued at more than $30bn. He is dual qualified in US and English law, and in 2018, he acted for new issuer clients including Atresmedia Corporacion, Hibernia REIT, Grosvenor Limited, Akelius Residential Property AB and SSP Group. Clients praise the firm's 'knowledge, availability and approach to problem solving'.

Practice head(s):Andrew Weiler

Other key lawyers:Sevda Staykova

Testimonials

'The firm is pragmatic, responsive and willing to put the work in to ensure all parties are happy'.

'It has specific and valuable product and sector knowledge, and expertise in the USPP market'.

Key Clients

Atresmedia Corporacion

Hibernia REIT plc

Grosvenor Limited

Akelius Residential

Property AB

SSP Group plc

Tritax Big Box REIT plc

Tarsus Group plc

Royal Greenland A/S

Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc

Johnson Matthey plc

Portman Estates

Work highlights

  • Advised Johnson Matthey on its private placement of approximately $250m (equivalent) of senior notes.
  • Advised SSP Group on its debut private placement of approximately $175m (equivalent) of senior notes.
  • Advised Tritax Big Box REIT on its debut private placement of £400m of senior notes.
  • Advised Segro on its new private placement of €300m of senior notes.
  • Advised Grosvenor Britain & Ireland on its new private placement of £250m senior notes.

Pinsent Masons LLP operates a full-service banking practice that handles syndicated lending, real estate finance, acquisition and leveraged finance, asset-based lending, social housing finance, securitisation and debt capital markets work. It advises arrangers and issuers on public and private deals, and is a recognised leader in privately placed bond deals in the social housing space. Practice head Edward Sunderland covers EMTN programmes, private placements, listed bonds and commercial paper financing. Legal director Alexis Hayworth, who joined from Allen & Overy LLP, has a particular focus on social housing bond finance, on which he frequently advises lead managers, issuers and corporate trustees. Stephen Tobin leads on energy and infrastructure finance. The London office now has US law capability following the arrival of partner Roberta Markovina from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

Practice head(s):Edward Sunderland

Other key lawyers:Alexis Hayworth; Roberta Markovina; Ian Falconer; Sharon Smith; Michael Watson; Carl Posern; Grace Hui

Key Clients

Lowell Group

Canada Life

Heylo Housing

Pension Insurance Company

Prudential Trustee Company

Work highlights

  • Represented Lloyds Bank as lead manager on the £135m bond refinancing of the Belmarsh West Prison project.
  • Advised Heylo Housing Secured Bond on the set-up of a £800m medium-term retail bond note programme.
  • Represented the Lowell Group in connection with the private securitisation of a portfolio of unsecured consumer debt obligations, involving senior loans and junior notes.
  • Represented institutional investors in relation to the issue of €75m of privately placed bonds issued by Hibernia REIT.

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